Special Edition Review: A Story Before Bed

Back in November, I wrote a post related to National Family Literacy Month.  In it, I provided ideas for what families can do together to promote literacy.  One of the suggestions I gave was to audiotape read alouds.  I also indicated that videotaping a read aloud would be fabulous as well.  In particular, I thought it might be nice way for military families to read aloud books to one another while a parent may be deployed.  Imagine my surprise when I came upon this new website that offers families the opportunity to videotape themselves reading for a low fee of $6.99 per book.

A Story Before Bed is a service that allows you to read a book into a webcam and play it back whenever you want.  The creators have made it pretty simple and their website demonstrates how it works:

  1. Choose a book from their bookshelves.
  2. Record a video of yourself reading the book.
  3. Email the link of your reading to a child.
  4. The child can play the link as many times as they like.

This service is a wonderful way to read with a child when you can’t be with them.  Parents, grandparents, and members of the military can use this to connect with a special child.  Additionally, children can use it to read aloud to their loved ones far away.  Teachers can use it to have students read aloud, so the student can analyze their own reading.  I would imagine it could even be used by teachers to analyze student reading, when they lack time to actually sit down with each student in their class.

A Story Before Bed provides over 50 books to choose from, including First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg and several alphabet books by Jerry Pallotta.  You can choose books based on title, publisher, age or length of text.  When you hover over the book, a pop up provides you with a summary of the book as well as the age range recommended.

I like the fact that as soon as you create the video and the link, the child (or parent, grandparent, etc.) can watch the video.  You don’t have to worry about recording a video on a DVD and then mailing it.  It takes the wait time out of the process.

And, the creator of A Story Before Bed has offered a coupon for you to try the site for free!  Simply use the following code at checkout:  AC9F-KT4J-XR9Y

Hurry though!  The coupon expires on December 31, 2009!

I’d love to hear your thoughts, so please come back and let me know what you think about the site after you’ve tried it out!

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